BSQUARE, General Software Focus on Reducing POS Downtime

2/21/2003 - General Software, Inc., the leading supplier of x86 embedded firmware, and BSQUARE Corporation (NASDAQ: BSQR), a leading provider of software and technology powering smart devices, announced an agreement aimed at eliminating the key pain point of retail automation customers -- extended downtime. BSQUARE now offers custom adaptations of General Software’s Embedded BIOSTM 2000 and Firmbase® SDK running on x86 clients under the Microsoft Windows XP Embedded operating system.

"By adapting General Software’s BIOS solutions and leveraging the x86 hardware’s System Management Mode, BSQUARE can provide system level software that minimizes or eliminates downtime," said Scott Bufkin, Vice-President of Professional Engineering Services of BSQUARE. "For example, a retail kiosk can be programmed to provide tailored service requests such as automatically sending a priority email to a technician if any part of the software fails."

The BSQUARE-General Software partnership provides high-value solutions for point-of-sale (POS), kiosk, and thin client products designed for retail environments. BSQAURE will function as a Technology Center for General Software’s customers, providing custom engineering and BIOS adaptation services to the x86 embedded market in North America.

"Technology Centers are an important component of our firmware offering," explained Matthew J. Schiltz, General Software president and CEO. "Embedded BIOS customers looking for help taking a product from concept to reality will benefit from BSQUARE’s solid expertise in the embedded space. We’re thrilled to have them as a partner and look forward to working together to offer high-quality x86 solutions."

"Windows XP Embedded helps kiosk OEMs deliver what their customers want -- a customized kiosk using the latest PC multimedia and browsing technologies that allows upgrades and management to be handled remotely," said Keith White, Senior Director of Marketing, Microsoft Embedded and Appliance Group. "This agreement between BSQUARE and General Software will enable OEMs to develop kiosks that are easier for their customers to monitor and manage, which means less downtime, a reduced total cost of ownership, and a faster return on investment."

BSQUARE accelerates the development, deployment, and management of next-generation smart devices and applications. For nearly a decade, BSQUARE has provided more than 150 world-class manufacturers, integrators, and service providers with the building blocks necessary to design, develop, and test innovative products quickly and cost effectively. The company's suite of products and services includes Device Development Solutions, Wireless Solutions, and Custom Engineering Services. BSQUARE offers its customers deep expertise in the latest hardware and software, providing critical engineering services that have resulted in the successful launch of hundreds of new products and applications. For more information, visit BSQUARE at or call (888) 820-4500.

About Embedded BIOS 2000
Embedded BIOS 2000 delivers a comprehensive BIOS development environment for x86 embedded systems. The modular architecture of the Embedded BIOS Adaptation Kit allows an OEM to support multiple, on-going BIOS adaptations while leveraging existing libraries of CPU, chipset, and board-specific features. Embedded BIOS addresses the entire lifecycle of embedded products, from board bring-up, configuration prototyping, testing with system diagnostics, and product manufacturing to in-field diagnostics and software reload. Embedded BIOS supports industry-standard operating systems that run on PC-compatible hardware, including the full spectrum of Windows, Linux, and real-time operating systems.

About Firmbase® Technology
Embedded BIOS 2000 serves as the hardware abstraction layer for Firmbase, General Software’s high-availability operating environment. Firmbase uses patented technology to run 32-bit firmware applications concurrently with the foreground operating system. It provides a multi-threaded API to 32-bit applications running transparently to the other software in the system, including the BIOS and operating system. These programs -- called Firmware Applications -- are developed using standard, 32-bit Windows Portable Executable (PE) development tools.

About General Software, Inc.
General Software, a Microsoft Windows Embedded Partner Program Gold-level member, provides superior enabling firmware and world-class support for OEM manufacturers of telecommunications, data communications, consumer electronics, dedicated servers, and other specialized computing devices. General Software’s well-architected and reliable firmware products reduce risk, speed development, and address embedded OEM product lifecycle needs. For more information about General Software and its embedded firmware, visit, e-mail, or contact Davíd Tobar at 800-850-5755 or 425-576-8300.

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